Saturday, January 28, 2006

Review – Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony

The history of black resistance to the apartheid regime in South Africa is a fascinating subject all by itself, but it becomes even more interesting when the focus shifts to the role music played in the struggle for freedom. The thing I found most interesting was the often-sharp contrast between the sound of the music and the message it conveyed. For example, a song that might sound joyful and carefree when left untranslated takes on a whole new importance when the subtitles reveal that the lyrics are about killing people with machineguns. The production suffers from some technical difficulties – inconsistent sound quality and occasional lapses in the subtitles – that HBO’s money should have been able to correct. But overall this is a touching portrayal of artistic expression as a weapon against injustice. Worth seeing

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